View Full Version : at what age do you teach ur kids to be responsible for their needs?
Had a wonderful Thanksgiving, singing, great food, nice family, even all the kids got along really well
than my teenager, who does not and will not live at home, told me she needed a ride home (over an hour round trip)
she had mentioned something to me weeks ago she would either need a ride to or from thanksgiving dinner
I told her should not be a problem, she could set something up, lots of people there, some even live closer to where she lives. when the woman she lives with brought it up, I told her flat out, A needs to make her own plans, and not just assume someone will give her what she wants/demands (or bail her out).
she did call my Mother for a place to stay, for tues and wed night, but never actually asked anyone to drive her to or from dinner.
End of dinner I was packing up our leftover foods and she offered to put something in the car for me since I was driving her home.
I clarified she had not made a concrete plan, nor had she followed up and confirmed with me or anyone else. once she stopped sputtering she asked my mother if she could stay one more night, to which my mom said "well, i was planning on that, i got a movie"
I told her so many times to make plans, to be sure she had a ride, to firm up her plans. she just assumes everyone will just show up when she needs them, will give her what she wants (above and beyond what she needs)
She is willing to work for her spending money, but complains to everyone who will listen that she will never be treated fairly.
Tonight I refused to cave in, I held my ground.
how old should she have been when she was taught that she is responsible for suring up her own plans, not the other way around
I know my other two kids confirm plans with me a few times.
11-28-2008, 09:27 AM
I think you did the right thing in holding your ground. In your case, especially since your teen is not living under your roof, she needs to be taking responsibility for her own life. While I'm sure you will always be there for the biggies for her, the small stuff like getting home if she won't stay with you is in her court.
I think (and this is hindsight on my part because mine are already 10 and 14) you have to start building their sense of responsibility early on. My 10 year old has learned what it feels like to have to go to school without her backpack and violin and not have her lunch or snack because she didn't take the responsibility of making sure she had it with her in the car before we left for school. She's also had to miss recess several times because she forgot to pack her hat and gloves and has been too cold to play outside. My 14 year old is learning how cold it can get in November, especially if you don't pack a coat when you head over to Grandma's house for the weekend.
We want our kids to have what they need and be safe and happy but we also want them to be responsible adults when the time comes. We've got to help by laying the foundation for them to be able to do so early on in their lives. We won't always be there to watch their backs when they are older.
thanks, exactly what I wanted to hear
my younger two know that if they forget something, they can call, but I will not always come
and if I have plans, I let them know the night before, if they choose to not wake in time, I leave them home, and pick them up IF I stop back at the house. I know they are safe, and they know they are not allowed to leave without telling me where, who and how long
but I made a mistake letting my eldest live somewhere else, I should have been stronger, but they all are mostly good kids, and I am doing my best
time to go shopping, and let the kids loiter / christmas shop.
11-28-2008, 04:07 PM
Experience can be a harsh but effective teacher. She needs to learn some time that she can't just take people for granted and to learn to plan for herself.
11-28-2008, 08:12 PM
I know you're traveling a difficult road with that one.
It's never to late to start, as any advice I'd give would entail something like starting them out when they're toddlers. :teehee:
Regardless, your daughter will never learn until she gets, as we say in the South, "up the creek without a paddle."
She's made her bed and is going to have to lie in it. It's one thing to help out your kids...bail them out the first or second time. But when they do things like this over and over, you have to say "enough."
Hang in there, my friend.
11-28-2008, 10:21 PM
No time like the present.
Hind sight is 20/20 and I wish I had begun teaching my daughter these lessons at an earlier age. I was a stay at home mom and pretty much did everything. When I had to go back to work, (she was about 9 or10) she started to learn the lesson of self sufficiency. Then when her father and I divorced, she really got it. Now she is 19 and on her own and doing very well. I wish that I had been able to teach her these things naturally and gradually from a much younger age. Having to do it when we were stressed out was hard on her.
I don't know how old your daughter is but now is the time for her to get the message. You did the right thing.
Argh, teenagers are so hard...:muah:
12-01-2008, 04:30 PM
I think you did exactly the right thing- she'll learn faster if she is allowed to face the consequences of not taking care of her own issues.
12-01-2008, 05:32 PM
I am one of only 2 biological children in my family. (There are 7 of us kids total). With us two, mom and dad started VERY early. Like, when we were 3 -4. I was cooking meals for my then family of 4 by the time I was 7. Now, mid teens, I could very possibly live on my own without much difficulty.
With my other siblings it is much different. Some of them had spent up to 7+ years of their lives in different homes, none of which taught life skills. Some taught them things I can only shudder at the thought of. Some of my siblings will never be able to live on their own. And those that do, well, the next ____ (However many years old they were when they came) will be spent unteaching them all that they learned. And then you can add 18 to that, and you have the approximate age they *might* be able to live on their own without help. And it varies with the child themselves.
My bio brother is 2 years younger than me, and he is no where close to being able to care for himself. It really depends on who/how/where etc. :)
12-01-2008, 08:22 PM
I don't envy you. To some degree this is all a gradual process. For me I guess what matters is the cause of the problem: whether it is just inexperience and forgetfulness or an attitude that the world owes them. I certainly had some moments right through college age that were produced by a sort of natural haplessness usually involving forgetting to add some needed fluid to a car. My father has been dead nearly 28 years but I still remember his tolerance and kindness towards me. They are qualities that I have tried, sometimes without success, to embrace with my own kids and their mistakes. I do think though, if these kinds of situations are born of pure selfishness, she ought to feel the consequence of her actions.:hug:
These are not born of pure selfishness, they are born of her unwillingness to communicate with me on anything other than a superficial level. She can talk about college and fights with her friends and about what a F U I am. she just will not make anything resembling plans with her family, forget it
not even plans to have me drive her home. She mentions things once, and that has to be good enough. from that point on I either live up to or down to her expectations
U can guess what I usually do, but she really and truely does not expect people to do less than what will make her life easier. She even giggles and squeeks
'nothing like this ever happened on MY side of the family'
and Yes, i do still love her with all my heart, at least the part that does not hurt
12-02-2008, 04:28 AM
I raised 5. Been there, done that. :pout: They can suck the life out of ya'!
Make decisions on a case-by-case basis. Plan how you might respond to the next "favor"...but don't be afraid to toss out or modify your plan. I made decisions based upon the kid, and the kid's attitude and abilities at that moment in time. Some kids are real dorks. Others are just flat out manipulative. And some are inbetween. I was always worried for my daughter's safety when it came to walking, or.... bus and train transit. :pout:
I'd rather swallow my plan and keep my daughter safe. If a daughter disappears...like Natalee Holloway...it's just too late.
I think you're on the right track. Let love guide your decisions. And that can include what they call 'tough love', too.
12-02-2008, 05:55 PM
I think you are all much too harsh and demanding of your children. I say this knowing I often feel I give in too much to mine. And some of mine are in their twenties! Isn't there anyone else like me here?
In the long run I think they will make it in the end and they are good kids. They are what they are and I am what I am and I won't change now. I've also learned lessons from the times I tried to change the way they are. It just never worked.
12-02-2008, 06:27 PM
My old Spanish-Filipino father said this to me long ago:
"Raising children can be compared to a stream of water coming down from the top of a mountain. If you try to block it you won't succeed. It will go over or around your efforts. The water is going to come down the mountain! You will have greater success if you guide and channel the waters in the pathway that is best for all."
I never forgot that sage wisdom.
I also think you have done the right thing.
It is so much easier to give in but staying the course is better for both of you in the long run. I feel you are at a disadvantage because she doesn't live at home and her 'role model' is someone else - the woman she is living with.
My daughter lives with my Mother who is 92. She is almost 40 and can't seem to look after herself. She has been spoiled by my Mom since she was born.
My son, on the other hand, was diagnosed learning disabled but he didn't get spoiled. I was able to raise him without interference and he learned that he had to earn his own way. He washed cars to be able to own a bike (I could not afford to give him one - not even for Christmas). He learned to budget his money before he left home.
Now he is a good citizen, has a good job, is kind, considerate and never asks for anything but my company... on occasion.
A spoiled child leads to a spoiled adult...
Parenting is not about winning a popularity contest - good parenting leads to the child not needing us any more.... (that's not 'needing' - a different thing from 'wanting')